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MLB – Yogi Berra – NY Yankees – L E’s Stories Special – “I Never Said Most Of The Things I Said” – Tribute To The Life and Legend of HOF Yogi Berra

If you have read any other of my stories….you probably already know that I like to quote the original Sportsphile, Bone Daddy….and since today I will be telling a story about the man we here at ImaSportsphile call “The Backstop of the New York Yankees”, Yogi Berra….who is synonymous with the New York Yankees….after playing for 19 years….coaching for 18 years…..and managing for 3 years…..while throughout his entire Yankee organization career, he spewed famous quotes for the better part of four decades…..for he was like no other in the storied history of the New York Yankees.                     

                                      MLB – 1946 To 1985 – Special Tribute – A Baseball Life: Yogi Berra                                                                                                The Backstop Of The New York Yankees

Although The Mick was Bone Daddy’s favorite Yankee ever…..Yogi and Whitey were not far behind….like we’re talking 1A and 1B….with Yogi being 1A….cuz Yogi was a mainstay with the Yankees organization spanning nearly four decades as a player, coach and manager.  As you read in many of the stories I write….the athletes that made the top of BD’s favorites list were folks who made his list not just for what they accomplished on the fields of play…..but also cuz of what they did after their playing days were over….for BD has always felt the measure of the person goes way beyond the achievements of their best attributes.  Bone Daddy really liked Yogi…..first, because he was the catcher….cuz anyone that knows baseball knows that the catcher is typically the field general on every team….and Yogi was an awesome field general….but BD really liked what Yogi accomplished after his playing days…..and the way he accomplished it. 

MLB – 1925 To 1989 – Special – Highlights Of The Life And Career Of Yogi Berra                                                                                          A True NY Yankee Legend

So, we’ll let the stats of the pitchers in 1957 season prove my point….that Yogi Berra was an awesome field general….as follows:

  1957 Pitchers                  Wins / Losses             ERA             1957 Pitchers             Wins / Losses     ERA

Tom Sturdivant                      16 –  6                      2.54     /     Johnny Kucks                      8 – 10            3.56

Bob Turley                              13 – 6                      2.71     /     Bobby Shantz                      11 – 5             2.45

Don Larsen                             10 – 4                      3.74     /     Whitey Ford                         11 – 5             2.57

Bob Grim                                 12 – 8                      2.63     /     Art Ditmar                            8 – 3              3.25

Tommy Byrnes                         4 – 6                       4.36     /     Al Cicotte                             2 – 2              3.03

Ralph Terry                               1 – 1                       3.05     /     Sal Maglie                            2 – 0              1.73          

1951 Topps  Card
  1952 Topps Card
 1953 Bowman Card
     1954 Topps Card
  1955 Bowman Card

                          Folks, in 1957 at age 32…. Yogi caught all but 18 games in the entire season.  Can you imagine what it would be like on your knees and legs to catch 132 (MLB played 150 games in 1957) professional baseball games in one season at age 32.…..while maintaining a staff winning percentage of .636…..along with a team pitching staff ERA of 3.00….unquestionable proof of what a great field general that he was.

            1956 Topps Card
1964 Topps Card
1957 Topps Card

Then add into that equation that he had set a season of offensive numbers with a .251 BA (batting average) in 545 PA (plate appearances ….with only 24 SO (strike outs)….which meant simply that Yogi could put the bat on the ball.  He scored 74 runs….hit 24 home runs….and had 82 RBI….all the while he was directing each game….and each pitch….from behind home plate…..and any way you cut the pie, that was an impressive year, especially for a catcher. 

Simply put, Yogi Berra played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) (1946–1963, 1965)….with all but the last for the New York Yankees. He was an 18-time All-Star and won 10 World Series championships as a player—more than any other player in MLB history….as Yogi had a career batting average of .285….while hitting 358 home runs and driving in 1,430 runs batted in.  He is one of only six players to win the      American League Most Valuable Player Award three times…..while he is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history.                                                                                                                                        

        MLB – 1946 To 1989 – Special – Photos And Quotes From The Backstop Of The Yankees Yogi Berra

But the real truth of why BD liked Yogi so much….wasn’t just his long tenure of being the Yankees field general….but rather…it was what came out of his mouth….. .as Yogi has been and will always be one of the most quotable sports figures of all time…. even rivaling The Greatest – Muhammad Ali…..and like in one of my stories that I wrote about Ali where I shared some of the real pearls that came out of his mouth..…I just have to share some of Yogi’s best too, as follows: 

“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”

“It’s like deja vu all over again.”

“We made too many wrong mistakes.”

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

“All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”

“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.” 

“It gets late early out there.”

“I don’t know if they were men or women running naked across the field…..they had bags over their                   heads.”

“I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia…..let them walk to school like I did.”

“So I’m ugly.  So what?  I never saw anyone hit with his face.”

“90% of the game is half mental.”

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up some place else.”

“We have deep depth.”

“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

“I really didn’t say everything I said.”

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

“The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”

“How can you hit and think at the same time?” 

“Never answer anonymous letters.”

“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”

“If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.

“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”

“I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”                                                                  

                                           MLB – 1972 – Special – Baseball Hall Of Fame Biographies                                                                              Highlights Of The Yogi Berra Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony

On why he no longer went to Ruggeri’s, a St. Louis restaurant: 

“Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”

 On being the guest of honor at an awards banquet:  

“Thank you for making this day necessary.”

When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home….which was accessible by two routes: 

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Carmen Berra, Yogi’s wife asked:  Yogi, you are from St. Louis…we live in New Jersey…and you played ball in New York.  If you go before I do….where would you like me to have you buried?”  Yogi’s answer:  “Surprise me.”                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                    MLB – 1946 To 1989 – Special Tribute – The Life And Times Of Yankee Legend Yogi Berra                                                                     Featuring Some Of His Greatest “Yogi-isms”                                                               

During his 18 years as the catcher of the New York Yankees…..he led his pitching staffs to 10 World Series Championships…..which is still an MLB record of 10 rings….while making 18 All Star Teams… winning three (3) American League MVP awards.  Berra appeared as a player, coach or manager in every one of the 13 World Series that New York baseball teams won from 1947 through 1981. Overall, he appeared in 22 World Series, 13 on the winning side. Berra caught Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. He also holds the all-time record for shutouts caught, with 173…..for Yogi Berra was truly “The Backstop Of The New York Yankees”                                                                                                    

                                    MLB – September 22, 2015 – Special – Yankee Manager Joe Torre                                                                                         Delivers The Eulogy At Yogi Berra’s Funeral

I will end this tribute to Yogi Berra with the best assessment of the character that Yogi was with a quote from his long time Hall of FameYankee Manager Casey Stengal“Yogi could fall in a sewer and come up with a gold watch”…..and don’t think we dogs don’t understand that well…..cuz ya see….we dogs know about sewer smells….for the truth remains that we just love to roll in anything that has a real good stench…be it dead for a few days or in the final stinky stages of biodegradable..…you know the really smelly stuff…..and that’s the way Yogi chose to walk on this Earth too…..just being the best Yogi he could be….as he seemed to always get the gold watch….no matter what he might have fallen into or rolled in during the process….for he has left us all with lasting memories of a man who knew the game of baseball inside and out….a Hall of Fame Player and a true Yankee legend…HAIL TO YOGI….one of life’s truly lasting impressions where the mouth is always turned upwards in a smile.                                                                                       

                       MLB & Music – 1946 To 1963 – Career Highlights Of New York Yankees C Yogi Berra                                                                  Put To Music By Frank Sinatra Singing New York New York

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